A week of links

Links this week:

  1. Paul Frijters on race and IQ (also read the comments). And if you want some perspective on the epigenetic undertone to that post, Kevin Mitchell’s piece from the beginning of the year is worth a read.
  2. An article that got plenty of press – how heritable is IQ for people of low SESThe Wall Street Journal comments. There is an excellent discussion of the paper in the comments (including from one of the paper’s authors) over at Information Processing.
  3. Peter Turchin and friends have a new paper out in PNAS on the transition from small-scale societies to today’s massive, complex and largely anonymous societies. Turchin blogs on the paper (and provides a Q&A).
  4. If you are overwhelmed by the book offerings during peak-PaleoTM, Daniel Lieberman’s forthcoming book, The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease is probably a good one to put towards the top of your reading pile. The Guardian asks him a couple of questions. (I’m hearing positive things about John Durant’s book too.)

2 comments

  1. In regard to #4, what is your take on “Paleo” these days? Ironically, I think the very meaning of the word itself has evolved in a short period of time, as have the ideas of many of the people who promote a Paleo-lifestyle (whatever that really means). “Ancestral health” seems to be the fashionable term for studying health through an evolutionary lens currently, which I think is a better way to talk about it since everyone’s ancestral factors are different.

    1. I’m not sure that the “ancestral health” idea has permeated through the bulk of the “Paleo” world yet, at least in practice. The idea that people have different ancestors that may have changed within the last 10,000 years is too challenging and nuanced for some people.

      My general take on “Paleo” at the moment is that a lot of people have moved into the monetisation phase, which is generating a lot of junk. I’ll read Lieberman’s book, but finding the wheat amongst the chaff is not easy. I don’t have any “Paleo” blogs in my feed at the moment either (apart from Melissa McEwen), as I just don’t tend to get value for time from those that are out there.

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